Ohio LGBTQ+ Leaders Denounce Proposed Restrictions on Health Care

Ohio LGBTQ+ Leaders Denounce Proposed Restrictions on Health Care
Groups decry anti-trans legislation and executive orders to restrict health care

Media Contacts: 

MD Sitzes, Equality Ohio; media@equalityohio.org

Celina Coming , ACLU of Ohio; ccoming@acluohio.org 

Press Team, Human Rights Campaign; press@hrc.org


January 11th, 2024

COLUMBUS, OHIO – LGBTQ+ leaders from the Ohio is Home coalition denounced proposed health care bans in the state at a virtual press briefing on Thursday morning, urging state legislators to reject government overreach in healthcare regulations and encouraging Ohioans to contact their state legislators and submit public comments. The coalition warned that the policies would have devastating impacts  on healthcare practices in Ohio and nationwide. 

The leaders had the following comments:

Dara Adkison (they/them), Secretary of TransOhio

“It’s appalling living in a state where the Governor and many members of our legislature don’t think my life and the lives of other trans Ohioans matter. This is a direct and cruel attempt to cripple medical care for both trans youth and adults across the state. To my fellow trans Ohioans, you’re not alone and we’re going to deal with this together.”

Siobhan Boyd-Nelson (she/her), Co-Interim Executive Director, Equality Ohio: 

“Equality Ohio remains steadfast in pushing back against efforts to arbitrarily limit the healthcare access of transgender Ohioans. HB 68 and the proposed agency regulations threaten transgender Ohioans’ ability to continue to receive world class, life saving medical care. We refuse to sit idly by while politicians pushing their own agenda onto families legislate to allow them to overrule doctors and parents. Trusting adults, parents and healthcare providers is crucial for the welfare of our community, and we can see right through these blatant attempts to sow distrust. The battle may be fierce, but our commitment to protecting the welfare of our community is unwavering. We will persist in our fight for the right of every Ohioan to access the care they deserve.” 

Erin Upchurch (she/her), MSSA, LISW-S, Executive Director, Kaleidoscope Youth Center: 

“The cruel and harmful actions by those supporting House Bill 68 do nothing to protect any child or young person—instead, only further marginalize and promote harm. Trans youth deserve more from all of us. To the young people of Ohio, and everywhere: We love you. You are brilliant. You are kind, creative, and innovative. You are on purpose, and we need you. Kaleidoscope Youth Center is here for you, and we are here to stay.”

Minna Zelch (she/her), Leadership Team, Trans Allies of Ohio: 

“With this veto override, Ohio Republicans in office have proven that not only do they have no interest whatsoever in protecting or helping children—they are quite happy to sacrifice children so they can win their primary elections. Republican Representatives have sold their souls to extremist religious groups, and have decided that our children are acceptable collateral damage in their MAGA culture war. They think that laws like HB 68 will further their goal of erasing transgender kids, but they’re wrong. Our children will still be trans. We are proud of who our children are and will NEVER stop fighting for them to live as the people they were meant to be.”

Chase Strangio (he/him), Deputy Director of Transgender Justice, ACLU national: 

“In the face of legislative challenges, as an ACLU attorney fighting against restrictive bills, I’ve witnessed the hypocrisy of politicians claiming parental rights while disregarding established medical evidence. Ohioans now grapple with severe restrictions, not only for minors but also proposed rules making it the most restrictive state in the nation for adult care. Despite the cruelty, we find inspiration in the resilience of advocates, trans individuals, and families pushing back. Let Ohio be a beacon as we unite nationwide against rules devoid of science, law, and common humanity; we look forward to the fight ahead.”

Cathryn Oakley (she/her), Senior Director of Legal Policy, Human Rights Campaign: 

“MAGA members of Ohio House made clear that they believe politicians, not parents, should decide what health care the state’s youth have access to. HB 68 and the Governor’s proposed regulations would do incredible harm to LGBTQ+ people in Ohio. We should trust parents to care for their children and doctors to provide best practice, lifesaving medical care. But the battle isn’t over. We will continue to fight for the right of all Ohioans to get the care they need.”

About the Ohio is Home Coalition
The ACLU of Ohio, TransOhio, Trans Allies of Ohio, Equality Ohio, HRC, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, and NASW-Ohio stand united in protecting all Ohioans’ freedom and liberty against discriminatory legislation.